King County to Expand COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

Image credit Washington State Department of Health

In light of the unprecedented growth of COVID-19, King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to allocate 7 million dollars to COVID-19 vaccine relief. This includes the creation of high-volume COVID-19 vaccination sites and mobile units, as well as supplying the vaccines themselves. 

Constantine predicts that 70% of King County adults will need to be vaccinated in order to slow the spread; in other words, 1.6 million people. In order to reach this number, 16,000 adults will need to be vaccinated every day for the next six months. This includes uninsured people, and no appointments or documentations should be necessary.

Currently, according to Washington’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair Shah, only 14,000 Washingtonians are being vaccinated per day. To expedite this process, Gov. Jay Inslee lowered the age for the first phase of vaccines to 65, as opposed to the original 70. In addition, the National Guard has been activated in Washington as well as fifteen other states. 

Inslee has an even loftier goal than Constantine; for the safety of Washingtonians, he wants 45,000 people vaccinated per day. However, to do this, we would need a higher vaccine supply than we currently have, as it is above Washington’s vaccine allocation. Despite this, many companies are behind the effort, including Starbucks, SeaMar, Kaiser, Permanente, and Microsoft. In addition to giving out current Phase 1 vaccines, Washington is focusing their efforts on allocating proper spaces so they are ready to vaccinate.

To check on when you can be vaccinated, the Washington State Department of Health created a Find your Phase tool, which can be accessed here. Currently, the eligible people are high-risk healthcare and emergency workers, long-term care facility workers, other medical staff, and adults 65 and older.